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Photography by Mercy Street Studio.

In 2010, I led a group of women to Ethiopia. I had fallen in love with Ethiopia the year before and wanted to share this beautiful, yet broken, place with others. Meg signed up for the trip and had faith that the money to fund her journey would come. It did.

During that trip, we visited several orphanages and communities. We carried water, mudded hut walls, painted, cooked, played, fed, hugged, kissed, cuddled—in short we loved on the people of Ethiopia with everything we had.

There was one orphanage in particular that stole our hearts. It was filled with babies—abandoned little people. The room was silent with bundled little babies who were malnourished and underweight. We all held and kissed every baby in that room. We heard the heart-wrenching stories of how the babies were abandoned and found. We looked into their big brown eyes and told them how precious and loved they were.

A few days later, we went back to that orphanage to hold and kiss them some more. We brought hundreds of dollars in supplies and formula to help keep those babies nourished—knowing it was but a Band-Aid on a gaping wound, but determined to try to do more when we returned home. As we were preparing to leave that orphanage for the second time, I noticed Meg weeping. She was holding a precious little girl in her arms with tears streaming down her cheeks. We had no way of knowing that Meg was holding her daughter, as the adoption wouldn’t go through for another two years.

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Love is a funny thing. We think it’s just another emotion, but when God knits your heart together with another heart, it’s an impenetrable bond. Meg had no way of knowing that she would meet her daughter on that trip. She came home broken for the people of Ethiopia, not just one baby girl, but every orphan. When she embarked on the adoption journey, she was told it was impossible for her to adopt Sitota, not just once, but for 15 months straight. Yet God kept nudging her forward, and two years and two months after she put Sitota back in her crib with tears rolling down her cheeks, she picked her up and brought her home to Maine. Forever.

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Erin Moore is a portrait photographer and fellow adoptive mom. Her website is www.mercystreetstudio.com. Erin’s photographic style is fresh and fun. She is passionate about photographing tweens and teens, as well as orphan advocacy. She leads an adoption & foster care ministry through her church. She resides in southern Maine with her husband, four children, and her loyal dog, Friday.

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